Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy's fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.
Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.
But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.
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“It is required by the code that I kill any privateers I come into contact with—a waste, really. You were brave.”
Barren moved his arm back and thrust the blade toward the young lord. Larkin moved quickly, snatching Leaf’s cutlass from his hand, she deflected Barren's sword and stood between the two.
“No!” she cried fiercely. “You will spare him!”
“You do not command me!” Barren’s voice was deadly.
“What would you gain from his death?”
“He cannot be trusted!”
“You've spent all your life killing the wrong people! How many more lives will you take to pay for one?”
Barren let his blade fall to his side. His gaze seared her, and he could tell she was afraid. Her eyes were wide, and she breathed heavily, but her hands tightened on the hilt of Leaf’s blade. For a moment, he wanted to end her life. Then he would have no more interferences, but he knew he couldn’t. He took a step toward her, eyes narrowing.
“Move,” he commanded. Larkin glared up at him and shook her head. Barren tightened his jaw.
“It's okay, Larkin,” she heard Jonathan's voice. “Move.”
Barren watched as she turned to face Jonathan. Because she was distracted, Leaf was able to reach forward and pull her away from the scene, ripping the blade from her hands. Barren stepped forward, repositioned himself before the man and pointed the sword at Jonathan’s neck. All Barren had to do was push ever so slightly and blood would pool on the ground, a terrible gurgling sound that would fill the air. Larkin would scream—scream that he was a monster. Only now, she would see it, she would really know it.
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